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Jordan’s U-16, U-19 football teams hope to advance in qualifiers

By Aline Bannayan - May 19,2019 - Last updated at May 19,2019

AMMAN — Jordan’s U-16 national team will host its Group A qualifiers for the 2020 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Championship.

Jordan got a relatively easy draw against Tajikistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Kuwait for the qualifiers kicking off on September 14. Playing in two zones, 47 teams will compete in 11 groups. The top team from each group and top four second placed teams will advance to the championship.

The U-16 men’s team concluded a training camp in preparation for the championship. Last year, Jordan bowed out of the Round 1 of the 2018 AFC U-16 Men’s Championship. Held once every two years, the competition serves as a qualifier for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, with the top four countries qualifying. The U-16 women’s squad was also eliminated from Round 1, Group A qualifiers for the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship. 

Likewise, the U-19 team was drawn in Group E alongside host Bahrain, Bangladesh and Bhutan for its qualifiers kicking off November 1. Playing in two zones, 46 teams will compete in 11 groups. The top team from each group and top four second placed teams will advance to the championship.

The 2018 season saw the men’s and women’s national football teams both eliminated from its Asian events. The women’s team had an unimpressive run in Round 2 of the Asian Olympic qualifiers as only the group leader Vietnam advanced to Round 3 of the qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Qualifying teams include Myanmar from Group A, Vietnam from B and Taiwan from C. They will join Australia, South and North Korea China and Thailand in Round 3 where they will play in two groups with the group winner and runner-up playing a final round before the top two move on to the finals alongside hosts Japan.

It was the third time for Jordan in Asian qualifiers. It had also been eliminated in Round 2 in qualifiers for the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Jordan last won the 6th West Asian Women’s Championship for the fifth time and the national team is now the leading Arab teams at 54th in FIFA World Rankings. 

The men’s team was also eliminated in the Round of 16 at the Asian Cup 2019 as Qatar won the title for the first time. That followed Jordan’s elimination from World Cup qualifiers.

Last season, the men’s U19 national team was eliminated from Round 1 of the AFC U19 Championship as the semifinalists advanced to the FIFA U19 World Cup. Likewise the women’s team was eliminated from Round 1 qualifiers for the AFC U-19 Championship. 

Jordan was hoping to advance in the men’s Asian event after it failed to qualify for the championships in 2014 and 2016. It was the fifth time for Jordan at the championship with the best showing when they finished fourth in 2006 and advanced to the FIFA Youth World Cup in Canada in 2007. They exited the first round in 2008 and 2010 and reached the quarters in 2012. 

The U-23 men’s national team qualified to the 4th AFC U-23 Championship, which acts as a qualifying tournament for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In 2018, the team was knocked out of Round 1 of the 3rd AFC U-23 Championship. In 2016, Jordan reached the quarter-finals and in 2014 Jordan finished third.

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